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Competition body approves Phoenix Aviation sale
By PETER KIRAGU
Updated Sunday, August 10th 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3
Kenya: Hong Kong-based logistics company Frontier Services Group has fully acquired air charter company Phoenix Aviation. The deal for the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Phoenix Aviation by Frontier Services Group Limited has been approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya. The competition regulator made the announcement in the latest issue of the Kenya Gazette but the notice was dated July 30, 2014.
Earlier announcements on the deal were that Frontier Services Group, associated with Ex-Blackwater CEO and former US Navy Seal Erik Prince, was buying a 49 per cent stake in Phoenix Aviation at $14 million (Sh1.2 billion). This could now mean that Frontier Services Group has paid more than Sh2.4 billion for the entire stake.
This now allows Frontier Services Group to offer chartered passenger and cargo flights to China from Wilson Airport. Phoenix Aviation was in May allowed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to operate chartered flights to Asia.
Frontier Services said earlier it is targeting multinational and local mining and oil exploration firms as well as government and non-governmental organisations. It said Phoenix Aviation’s portfolio of air ambulance, regional cargo and passenger services and aircraft repair and maintenance businesses were the key reasons it invested in the company.
Other services to be retained are search and rescue operations, transport of Government and prominent private sector individuals. “Phoenix is a large operation capable of serving a diverse customer base. Phoenix’s leadership team shares Frontier Services’ vision to build a much more robust business centred on the Kenyan aviation sector – a business with the capability to invest and grow with the increasing number of multinational businesses moving into East Africa,” said Gregg Smith, Frontier Services CEO, two weeks ago.
Phoenix’s current fleet consists of a Citation Excel C560, 4 Citation Bravo C550s, four Beechcraft King Air BE200s, a Beechcraft King Air BE350; two Grand Cessna Caravan 208Bs, a McDonnell Douglas MD 83 and a Eurocopter AS350 B3.